DOI: 10.12924/johs2014.10010059 |Publication Date: 20 November 2014
The Fragility of the Liberal Peace Export to South Sudan: Formal Education Access as a Basis of a Liberal Peace Project
Abstract: This study examines the disjuncture between the policy transposition of the Liberal Peace Project (LPP) in South Sudan from the country's local context. It underlines how deep rooted historical exclusion from social welfare services reinforces political exclusion and exacerbates poor civic engagement among different ethnicities in the country causing a constant relapse to violence. The study combines a qualitative review of data from Afrobarometer, the National Democratic Institute, international NGOs, and South Sudan's government reports within depth interviews and participants' observation. The research finds that restricted access to formal education alongside the conservative and orthodox approaches to peacebuilding, which broadly focus on centralised urban political institutions and exclude diverse local needs and preferences, limit citizenship participation to elections and preclude an equitable social order in South Sudan, establishing a continuum of fragile authoritarian peace, institutional peace and constitutional peace. In an emancipatory approach, the study proposes a framework that prioritizes an extended access to primary and post-primary vocational education as a more credible establishment for sustainable civil peace in the country. The LPP by the international community needs to be tailored to enhance the political will of the South Sudan government to extend free primary education access, incentivize primary education with school feeding programmes and to invigorate vocational training curricula. These will yield civil peace dividends, which avert South Sudan's structural source of relapse into violence with sustainable disincentives. Apart from women's empowerment through education and in all spheres of life, the government needs to ensure sustainability by guaranteeing a sustainable future for the present and for returning refugees by reducing the effects of climate change so as to cope with the increasing pressure on natural resources.
Keywords: conflict; formal education; liberal peace; peacebuilding; post-conflict settlement; South Sudan